It has been announced today that flanker Chris Cloete will be leaving Munster at the end of the season to join Bath.
Cloete will be following current Munster head coach Johann van Graan and defence coach JP Ferreira to the Gallagher Premiership next season.
It was clear that the flanker would be leaving Munster at the end of the season, as he was out of contract, and Bath as is his next destination makes sense following two coaches he clearly places a lot of faith in.
On his move to Bath, Cloete stated that “To play in the Premiership has always been a clear ambition, and I look forward to making a significant contribution as Bath move towards the top of the league. It is a fantastic club with great history, and the supporters deserve nothing less than a winning team."
A very abrasive player, known for his action man like physique and breakdown ability, Cloete could mix it with the very best in Europe on his day.
His first season with Munster, in 2017/18, was a standout and he was comfortably one of the best backrowers in that season's Champions Cup. Irish caps seemed a very possible reality as well.
However, injuries severely hampered his progress, and he began to garner a reputation as a penalty machine.
His stats from the current season highlight the pros and cons of Cloete’s game: While he has racked up 13 turnovers in just eight URC games this season, he has also conceded 11 penalties.
The news of his departure comes after yesterday’s announcement from Munster centre Damian De Allende that while he is leaving Munster, he will not be joining Van Graan at Bath.
With the mass exodus of players and coaches from Munster, and management roles still to be filled, next season will most certainly be the beginning of a new era for the province.